Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Trader Joe’s drop mask requirements, other stores still maintain policies

Mask required sign
Mask required sign
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 12:05 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco and Trader Joe’s have dropped their mask requirements for fully vaccinated customers. The stores said Friday they will not ask customers about their status but are relying on an honor system.

Unvaccinated customers and those with compromised immune systems are encouraged to continue wearing masks.

Walmart said its employees who are fully vaccinated will be permitted to start working without masks on May 18. Some workers may continue to wear masks for health and sanitation purposes.

Costco said it will still require masks in its pharmacies and other healthcare settings. All of the stores said masks may still be required under some city and state ordinances.

The changes come a day after the CDC said fully vaccinated people could stop wearing masks and social distancing outdoors or in most indoor locations.

The CDC now says that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks or social distance inside or outside. Its guidance that several states have now adopted, but some businesses say they’re keeping masks for customers and employees while they review the latest guidance.


Dillon’s issued a statement on Thursday stating that its parent company, Kroger, would still require everyone in its stores to wear masks.

“We are encouraging and incentivizing associate vaccinations by offering a $100 one-time payment to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy.

Additionally, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing as well as consider the use of no-touch grocery delivery or low-contact grocery pickup,” said the grocery store.


A Target spokesperson told WCCO - CBS Minnesota that it will continue to require masks and social distancing from its guests and employees in all stores while the company reviews new CDC guidance.


A Walmart spokesperson told The Columbus Dispatch that there are no immediate changes set to place with its current policy.

“We serve millions of Americans every week and believe our policy of requiring associates and customers to wear masks in our stores has helped protect them during the pandemic, and we’re not lifting those measures at this time,” Walmart said in a statement.

HOME DEPOT/STARBUCKS say they will continue to require masks,


Both say they are reevaluating their policies which require customers and employees to wear masks, based on the latest CDC guidance.

“The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process,” a spokesperson said in an email.

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